Copyright 2015 Eddie Lay
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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I wrote this sometime around 2000 as a short story. My daughter Michelle took the manuscript and let her five year old son draw the pictures to illustrate it. She then put everything in a book format and gave it to me for a Christmas present. I consider it my first published work.
MOOSES’ DON’T FLY
All of the animals, all of the pixies, and all of the elves’, who lived at the North Pole, were gathered together in the Town Square. Gruff, Santa’s number one elf, stood in front.
Mortimer Moose was way in the back, on his tippy toes.
Mortimer, stretched his neck as high as he could, and squinted his eyes. “I’m so far back I can’t see, or hear anything.”
“Me neither Mort. I can call you Mort can’t I?”
Mortimer looked all around him. “Who said that?”
“Me; I’m down here.”
Mortimer looked down. Standing on her hind legs, with her tiny front feet on his huge right hoof, was his friend Miranda Mouse staring up at him with large black eyes.
She ran up his leg, across his chest, up his neck, around his right ear, and perched on top of his head.
Mortimer jumped. “What are you doing?”
“That’s better,” Miranda said, as she moved around to get comfortable.
Miranda moved from one side of Mortimer’s head to the other, and then back again. “I still can’t see. I need to get higher.”
With two leaps and a jump Miranda was on the tippy-tip of Mortimer’s antlers.
“There’s some kind of notice tacked to the North Pole.”
“How do you know it’s a notice?”
“Because there are big black letters that say notice.”
“Can you read it?” Mortimer said as he jerked his head up so fast Miranda had to hold on for dear life.
“Hold your head still Mort.” Miranda settled back on the large antlers. “It says something about Dasher…tryout…one o’clock.”
Miranda ran down Mortimer’s antlers, down his face, sat on his nose, and looked him in the eye.
“It says that Dasher hurt his leg, and can’t fly with Santa this year. To find a replacement there will be try-outs this Saturday, behind the Sleigh Barn. All interested reindeer be there at one o’clock, and only reindeer need apply.”
“OH! OH! I’m interested,” said Mortimer. “I’ll be there at one o’clock.”
“Hold on Mort, the notice says that only reindeer need apply.”
“But I want to apply. I dream about flying around the world with Santa.”
“Sorry Mort, but you don’t look anything like a reindeer.”
“I really, really want to do this.” Mortimer walked back and forth, and then he stopped and bent his front legs so that his nose was almost on the ground. “Do you think if I scrunched down I would?”
“Not exactly…but I bet if I flipped this, and I curled that, and I did something to something else, you might look a little like a reindeer.”
“Could you? Would you? Please, please, please.”
“Just leave it to me Mort, I’ll take care of everything. Be at the Sleigh Barn at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, we have a lot of work to do.”
Saturday morning Mortimer was up at 4 o’clock, and at the Sleigh Barn by 5. Miranda arrived at six, to find Mortimer pacing the floor. He stopped in mid-pace, when he saw who was with her.
“Charley Chipmunk, what are you and Bunny Rabbit doing here?”
“Charley and Bunny are your friends too Mort, we all want to help you.”
Bunny spoke up. “Moose’s don’t fly, but I’m your friend so I came to help.”
First the three cleaned, then they brushed, and then they clipped. Then they clipped, and brushed, and cleaned. When they were finished, Miranda stood on Bunny’s head and looked him over from tip to toe.
“Your fur is short like a reindeer, but your legs are too long. Your nose is a bit large, and your antlers…we have to do something about your antlers.”
Miranda ran out of the barn, but soon she returned dragging something behind her. She ran straight for Mortimer, and dashed up his leg, all the way to the tip of his antlers. Scampering over, around, and through, she tugged, and twitched, and plucked, until, “Wa-la, you have reindeer antlers.”
“How do I look?” Mortimer asked, with his head held high. “Do I look like a reindeer? Do I? Do I?”
“You’re a little too tall, but we’ll tell Gruff that you are a teen-ager.” Miranda said.
Charlie Chipmunk said, “You ah…you are a little tall, so scrunch down more.”
Mortimer bent his legs, but that just made him look sillier.
“Bunny what do you think? Do I look like a reindeer?”
Bunny thought he looked like a walking clothesline with wet socks hanging, but she didn’t want to tell him that. She tilted her to the left, then she tilted it to the right. She closed one eye, then opened it and closed the other.
“Moose’s don’t fly,
why would you try?
Fish’s don’t walk,
birds don’t talk,
and Moose‘s don‘t fly.”
“A-ha!” Charley said, “but some birds, like parrots do talk, and some people have seen a certain kind of catfish walk. So why can’t Moose’s fly?”
Bunny glared at Charley, “Because MOOSE’S DON’T FLY.”
Mortimer paced and shook his head. “I knew it! I knew it wouldn’t work. I’ll never get to fly with Santa.”
“Hold on Mort! How do you know it’s not going to work? If you try out you might not make it, but if you don’t try out you defiantly won’t. What do you have to loose?”
“Nothing I guess,” said Mortimer as he headed for the door. “Let’s go.”
When Mortimer and his friends came out of the Sleigh Barn there was a large sign that said: “Try-outs this away.” When they turned the corner there was another sign that said: “Keep-a-goin’.” They went around another corner to find another sign and ten reindeer standing in line.
“Get in line Mort, I’ll go with you so you don’t get scared.”
Mortimer got behind the last reindeer, with Miranda hiding behind his right ear.
Charley and Bunny joined the crowd that was gathering to watch.
Mortimer looked around, he was a lot bigger than the reindeer in front of him. He started to feel weird. Maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.
“Why are all the reindeer looking at me and laughing?” Mortimer asked.
Miranda peeked around a big ear. “I don’t know, Mort, I think it’s because you are so big. Don’t worry about it, just think about flying with Santa.”
Gruff came out of the workshop and walked down the line, looking at each reindeer. When he got to Mortimer he stopped, and looked him over, up and down. Gruff Walked completely around Mortimer, while grumbling and shaking his head. He used his finger to motion for Mortimer to bend down, and with his nose pressed against Mortimer’s he asked, “Just what are you supposed to be son?”
“I’m a reindeer sir.”
All the reindeer laughed so hard their sides hurt. Gruff held up his hand for quiet. When he turned back to Mortimer his face was red
“A reindeer? You’re too big to be a reindeer. Just what kind of reindeer are you son?”.
“I…well I…I’m a teen-ager.”
“You’re not only too big for a teen-ager, but your fur looks funny. What happened to your fur son?”
“And your antlers, what in the world is on your antlers?”
“You see Miranda thought—-”
“Miranda? What is a Miranda?” Gruff was almost shouting. “You are the dumbest looking thing that I have ever seen.” He reached up to pull the fake antlers off.
“Don’t touch that you tweep!”
Gruff jerked his hand back, and stared at Mortimer. He was shocked that anyone would talk to him like that.
Miranda came out and sat on Mortimer’s nose. “I’m Miranda, and you stop picking on my friend. He just wants a chance to fly with Santa, but your rules won’t let him, so his friends tried to help. We thought that if you saw how much he wanted this, you would let him try. I see we were wrong, you are nothing but a big poop.”
Gruff’s eyes got bigger, and his voice got louder.
“Who do you think you are little miss mouse? I’ll feed you to my cat. Now take yourself, and your flop eared friend, and all the rest of your ragamuffin band, and high tail it back to wherever it is you came from. I said reindeer can apply, not a big dumb moose with a loud mouthed mouse on his nose.”
Mortimer was hurt, embarrassed, and he wanted to cry. He hung his head, and his stomach hurt. He wanted to run home and hide.
Miranda’s voice sounded in his ear.
“Who said Moose’s don’t fly?”
Mortimer shook his head so hard to get the fake antlers off that Miranda had to hold on to his ear for dear life.
“I’m not a big dumb moose.” Mortimer said to Gruff. “And where does it say only a reindeer can pull Santa’s sleigh?”
“You’re right,” a voice came from the back; it was Santa. “Where does it say only reindeer can pull my sleigh? Gruff, let anyone try out that wants to, even a mouse.”
The animals shouted, as they filled up the tryout line. Try outs were hard and went on for two days. On the third day only Mortimer and two reindeer were left.
Gruff called the three remaining contestants over to a bunch of twigs on the ground.
“We are down to you three contestants,” Gruff said. “In front of you are three rows of twigs. A reindeer, or moose, has to be strong to pull a sleigh full of toys. All three of you have shown you are strong enough. You also passed the test to see if you can think quickly. But when you land on a roof, we don’t want you to go through. For the final test we will see how careful you can be. You will have to get to the end of your row the quickest, and with the least amount of broken twigs, to win.”
Mortimer couldn’t believe it. How was he going to get to the other end without breaking a lot of twigs. The smaller reindeer can go faster than him, he didn’t have a chance.
Gruff lifted Mortimer’s ear. “Good-bye Moose. You don’t have a chance this time.”
“I don’t have a chance? I’ll show you what a moose can do.”
“Atta’ boy Mort!” Miranda shouted.
Gruff shouted, “one, two, three, GO!”
The two reindeer took off like a shot, while Mortimer was going slow, being careful not to break too many twigs. He was getting behind, but he continued slow and easy.
One of the reindeer was near the finish line. It was almost over; Mortimer thought he had lost. Then things started to happen. The reindeer in front of him got his leg caught in some twigs, and couldn’t move. Mortimer moved up to second place; not bad for a big dumb moose.
If Mortimer ran, he could probably pass the other reindeer, but he would break a lot of twigs. He didn’t know what to do. Should he run fast, or be careful? He decided on careful. Then the other reindeer fell. HE FELL. He not only fell but he rolled.
The sound of breaking twigs was music to Mortimer’s ears. Mortimer strolled over the finish line to the cheering of everyone, except Gruff.
Gruff strolled over. Mortimer was ready to get chewed out for winning. Santa’s number one elf put his hands on Mortimer’s neck, and patted it.
“I didn’t think you had a chance, but you proved me wrong. Tonight you will be the first moose to ever fly with Santa.”
The snow was coming down slow, and easy. The air was crisp, not cold. Mortimer was shaking, not because of the weather, but from excitement. He was in his harness behind the reindeer, and Miranda was on his nose He was ready to go. Santa pulled pixie dust from his pocket and threw it over all the reindeer, and Mortimer and Miranda.
“On Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen. On Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen, and Mortimer.”
Up they rose, up into the soft swirling snow flakes. Up into the crisp night air until they looked like one of the stars in the night sky.
SOMETIMES MOOSE’S DO FLY
OTHER EBOOKS BY EDDIE LAY
WHY DO HUMMINGBIRDS HUM?
A guide to attracting and keeping hummingbirds to your yard
A light hearted story about a man named Joe who dies, leaving his eight year old daughter an orphan, but is granted a mulligan (a second chance) to see that she is taken care of.
GIRL IN THE WHITE DRESS (soon to be released)
A mystery about murder, deceit, and a shocking secrete.
Mortimer Moose wants to fly with Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. He gets his chance when one of Santa's reindeer is injured, and a contest is held to find a replacement. Mortimer tries to enter, but it is restricted to reindeer. When Mortimer's friends try to make him look like a reindeer, and are unsuccessful he has to overcome prejudice In order to achieve his goal.